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Education

Best online colleges in Massachusetts 2022

Explore our rankings of online colleges in Massachusetts, which can prepare you for a lucrative career in one of the highest-income states in our nation.
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Written by Matthew Sweeney, Contributing Writer on
Boston, MA city skyline
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Thinking of pursuing your online degree out-of-state? Consider attending an online school based in Massachusetts. 

The Codfish State is not only a hub for top-ranked educational programs but an exciting destination for careers in finance, engineering, information technology and other lucrative fields. Online colleges in Massachusetts can prepare you to enter the forefront of these fields and many more.

Explore our rankings of the top online colleges in Massachusetts and learn what they can do for you.

Top 5 online schools in Massachusetts: Quick facts

College

School stats

Boston University
Boston, MA

  • Acceptance rate: 20%
  • Graduation rate: 87%
  • Online classes use the Blackboard learning management system
  • 11:1 student-teacher ratio, despite being the nation's fourth largest independent university

University of Massachusetts Amherst
Amherst, MA

  • Acceptance rate: 65%
  • Graduation rate: 78%
  • University Without Walls program offers interdisciplinary online degree completion programs
  • Online classes use the Blackboard and Moodle learning management systems

Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Worcester, MA

  • Acceptance rate: 59%
  • Graduation rate: 88%
  • Online classes use the Canvas learning management system
  • Offers an online master's in biomanufacturing

Brandeis University
Waltham, MA

  • Acceptance rate: 33%
  • Graduation rate: 89%
  • Rolling admissions process
  • School gives learners the option to take one course before deciding to enroll in an online program

Simmons University
Boston, MA

  • Acceptance rate: 83%
  • Graduation rate: 80%
  • Online master's in information science takes two years to complete
  • Online classroom takes collaborative approach involving live chat, breakout rooms, and interactive whiteboards


The best online colleges in Massachusetts

Before looking through our rankings, please take a moment to familiarize yourself with ZDNet's ranking methodology. We require these schools to offer a diverse range of fully online bachelor's and master's degrees.

Unless otherwise indicated, data is drawn from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and College Scorecard. Note that for public colleges, the average annual net price given is for in-state students.

1. Boston University
Boston, Massachusetts

About the school: Founded in 1839, Boston University is the fourth largest independent university in the nation. The school's online catalog includes online master's degrees in global marketing management, software development, and financial management.

  • Acceptance rate: 20%
  • Graduation rate: 87%
  • Avg. annual net price: $30,395
  • Student body population: 36,104
  • Student-to-teacher ratio: 11:1
  • Number of online bachelor degrees: One (degree-completion)
  • Number of online master's degrees: 20
  • Avg. SAT range for admitted students: 1310-1500
  • Minimum GPA: 2.0
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous/synchronous

Accreditation: Boston University is accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education (NECHE).

2. University of Massachusetts Amherst
Amherst, Massachusetts

About the school: Established in 1863, University of Massachusetts Amherst began as an agricultural college. It has grown to become the preeminent school in the University of Massachusetts system. The school's online programs include an online MBA with concentrations in business analytics, finance, and healthcare administration.

  • Acceptance rate: 65%
  • Graduation rate: 78%
  • Avg. annual net price: $22,038
  • Student body population: 32,045
  • Student-to-teacher ratio: 18:1
  • Number of online bachelor degrees: Eight
  • Number of online master's degrees: 22
  • Avg. SAT range for admitted students: 1200-1390
  • Minimum GPA: 2.0
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous/synchronous

Accreditation: University of Massachusetts Amherst is accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education (NECHE).

3. Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Worcester, Massachusetts

About the school: A private university founded in 1865, Worcester Polytechnic Institute was one of the first schools offering programs in engineering in the nation. The school's online catalog includes an online master's in biomanufacturing that can prepare students for Massachusetts' rapidly-growing biomanufacturing industry.

  • Acceptance rate: 59%
  • Graduation rate: 88%
  • Avg. annual net price: $42,835
  • Student body population: 7,230
  • Student-to-teacher ratio: 14:1
  • Number of online bachelor degrees: 11
  • Number of online master's degrees: 24
  • Avg. SAT range for admitted students: Not required
  • Minimum GPA: N/A
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous

Accreditation: Worcester Polytechnic Institute is accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education (NECHE). 

4. Brandeis University
Waltham, Massachusetts

About the school: Brandeis University's online graduate programs include master's degrees in bioinformatics, robotic software engineering, and strategic analytics. The school gives learners the option to take a course before committing to an online program.

  • Acceptance rate: 33%
  • Graduation rate: 89%
  • Avg. annual net price: $33,663
  • Student body population: 5,558
  • Student-to-teacher ratio: 10:1
  • Number of online bachelor degrees: Seven
  • Number of online master's degrees: 10
  • Avg. SAT range for admitted students: 1320-1510
  • Minimum GPA: 2.0
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous/synchronous

Accreditation: Brandeis University is accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education (NECHE).

5. Simmons University
Boston, Massachusetts

About the school: A women's college founded in 1899, Simmons University now offers online bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs in the liberal arts tradition. The school's online catalog includes online master's degrees in public health, behavioral analysis, and nursing.

  • Acceptance rate: 83%
  • Graduation rate: 80%
  • Avg. annual net price: $27,920
  • Student body population: 5,984
  • Student-to-teacher ratio: 9:1
  • Number of online bachelor degrees: 10
  • Number of online master's degrees: Nine
  • Avg. SAT range for admitted students: 1060-1250
  • Minimum GPA: 2.0
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous/synchronous

Accreditation: Simmons University is accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education (NECHE).

6. Northeastern University
Boston, Massachusetts

About the school: A private university founded in Boston, Northeastern University now has satellite locations in Toronto, Silicon Valley, and Seattle. The school's bevy of online degrees includes master's degrees in engineering management, analytics, and artificial intelligence. 

  • Acceptance rate: 20%
  • Graduation rate: 80%
  • Avg. annual net price: $29,714
  • Student body population: 28,167
  • Student-to-teacher ratio: 15:1
  • Number of online bachelor degrees: 10 (degree-completion)
  • Number of online master's degrees: 51
  • Avg. SAT range for admitted students: 1410-1540
  • Minimum GPA: 2.0
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous/synchronous

Accreditation: Northeastern University is accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education (NECHE).

7. Wentworth Institute of Technology
Boston, Massachusetts

About the school: Established in 1904, Wentworth Institute of Technology offers career-focused education in technical design and engineering. WIT's online degrees include its online master's in facility management and master's in architectural engineering, both of which can be completed in one year.

  • Acceptance rate: 94%
  • Graduation rate: 66%
  • Avg. annual net price: $35,307
  • Student body population: 4,163
  • Student-to-teacher ratio: 16:1
  • Number of online bachelor degrees: Zero
  • Number of online master's degrees: Two
  • Avg. SAT range for admitted students: 1090-1280
  • Minimum GPA: 2.0
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous/synchronous

Accreditation: Wentworth Institute of Technology is accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education (NECHE).

8. University of Massachusetts Lowell
Lowell, Massachusetts

About the school: A nationally ranked research university, University of Massachusetts Lowell currently offers a variety of online programs at the undergraduate through postgraduate level. The school's online MBA features concentrations in finance, information technology, and managerial leadership.

  • Acceptance rate: 75%
  • Graduation rate: 59%
  • Avg. annual net price: $20,079
  • Student body population: 17,597
  • Student-to-teacher ratio: 18:1
  • Number of online bachelor degrees: Nine (56 throughout UMass system)
  • Number of online master's degrees: 22 (53 throughout UMass system)
  • Avg. SAT range for admitted students: 1140-1320
  • Minimum GPA: 2.0
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous/synchronous

Accreditation: University of Massachusetts Lowell is accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education (NECHE).

9. Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Boston, Massachusetts

About the school: Since 1823, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences has provided traditional and accelerated programs in majors such as pre-medicine studies, nursing, and pharmacy science. The school's online degree programs use the Blackboard learning management system.

  • Acceptance rate: 91%
  • Graduation rate: 81%
  • Avg. annual net price: $37,807
  • Student body population: 7,304
  • Student-to-teacher ratio: 12:1
  • Number of online bachelor degrees: Three (degree-completion)
  • Number of online master's degrees: 14
  • Avg. SAT range for admitted students: 970-1208
  • Minimum GPA: 2.0
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous/synchronous

Accreditation: Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education (NECHE).

10. University of Massachusetts Boston
Boston, Massachusetts

About the school: University of Massachusetts Boston contributes to Boston's area's thriving economy with online degrees including an online MBA, online master's in instructional design, and online master's in public administration. The school also offers unique graduate certificates in autism studies, critical and creative thinking, and gender, leadership, and public policy.

  • Acceptance rate: 80%
  • Graduation rate: 57%
  • Avg. annual net price: $17,752
  • Student body population: 15,637
  • Student-to-teacher ratio: 15:1
  • Number of online bachelor degrees: Four
  • Number of online master's degrees: 14
  • Avg. SAT range for admitted students: Not publicly available
  • Minimum GPA: 2.0
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous/synchronous, hybrid

Accreditation: University of Massachusetts Boston is accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education (NECHE).

In conclusion

While pursuing an online degree in Massachusetts can get expensive, the returns, such as academic prestige and a booming job market, can be high. Massachusetts is a top destination for online college.

Keep in mind that if you're hoping to start online college today, you can always look for programs with rolling admissions. 

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